The Skins Game, a Thanksgiving tradition in the desert from 1986 to 2008, is gone from the PGA Tour schedule and isn’t coming back. At least not with a $1 million purse.
Since The Skins Game was last played at the Indian Wells Golf Resort with K.J. Choi winning the title, the post-season of golf has been populated by big-money full-field or limited-field events throughout the world. A four-player event in the desert just didn’t seem to make much sense anymore.
But consider what could be happening in the desert this week of the Skins Game still existed. Well, I’ve thought about it. And here’s what I came up with four a four-play field for the event being played at, let’s say, Eagle Falls Golf Club at Fantasy Springs Resort in Indio.
Jason Dufner: The reigning PGA champion has the kind of resume that could earn him a Skins Game berth. He is a player who does seem to move the needle a bit for television and for fans in general, with his laid-back style. And he seems to have a sense of humor about himself and the game. Oh, and he can play.
Jordan Spieth: In its middle years The Skins Game was always looking for the next big thing, whether it was John Daly or Tiger Woods. The new next big thing in the game is Spieth, the Texan who won on the tour this year as a teenager. Now all of 20, Spieth would draw a younger demographic to the big ratings numbers (hey, we are fantasizing here) and could use the event as a way to help establish his name.
Matt Kuchar: Okay, so Tiger and Phil aren’t playing. They were tough gets even with the event was at its peak. So if you are looking for a highly ranked player who is popular and doesn’t have to fly over and ocean to get the the event, the answer is Kuchar. He was a big winner on tour this year, has a broad smile, putts with the long putter which could be a pretaped feature, and he even has ties to the desert.
Fred Couples: Sure, Couples is 54 now, but he understood the Skins Game better than anyone, as five wins in the event attests. And it’s not exactly like Couples has stopped playing golf, as he is still one of the top players n the Champions Tour.
So there you have it. Dufner, Spieth, Kuchar and Couples in the 2013, coming to a course near you this week, if only in the wishful minds of many desert golf fans.